Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Commentary in Light of Holocaust Shooting: Chip Berlet on Our Responsibility to Address Roots of Violence, Gabriel Voiles on Hal Turner Case

In the wake of today's shooting at the Holocaust Museum, Talk2Action has just put up some articles that provide significant information regarding themes on which I've touched in recent postings.

Chip Berlet notes, as I've done in my last two postings, that when something like the shooting today occurs, it's not enough to focus exclusively on the right-wing hate groups fostering this violence.

We have to look at ourselves, too, and our moral obligation to make this kind of violence less and less possible by challenging the ideological roots from which it grows:
We need to stand up as moral people and speak out against the spread of bigoted conspiracy theories. That's not a police problem, that's our problem as people responsible for defending a free society.
Berlet notes (as I've done in my postings on these themes) the intent of this violence to subvert democratic process, its tendency to target scapegoat Others (so that racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, misogyny, etc., coalesce in these groups fomenting violence), and its frequent success at stopping progressive change in its tracks:

And in the same edition of Talk2Action, note Frederick Clarkson's follow-up on Scott Roeder's assassination of Dr. George Tiller, which links to an article by Gabriel Voiles at the FAIR blog discussing the recent arrest of white supremacist Hal Turner in Connecticut.

As I noted this weekend, Turner was arrested after issuing threats against the same two openly gay Connecticut legislators targeted by Connecticut Bishop William J. Lori and Colorado Archbishop Charles J. Chaput earlier this year. Voiles reports that Turner has been closely associated with FOX news pundit Sean Hannity, though Hannity is trying to deny that connection.

And he points out that, on the same blog on which he issued threats of violence against Connecticut legislators Michael Lawlor and Andrew McDonald, Turner also states that Scott Roeder's murder of Dr. George Tiller was a "righteous act."

And so the circle of violence connecting one act of violence to another and one fomentor of violence to another circles back around to some of the bishops of the Catholic church in the U.S., and for that reason, I reissue the appeal with which I concluded my posting this weekend discussing Hal Turner's case: